Neuburg Castle was first built during the late 13th century or early 14th, most likely for the Baron Tumb von Neuburg from Vorarlberg. It is unclear whether there was an earlier castle or why the Tumb von Neuburg family acquired land in Graubünden. It was first mentioned in 1345 as Nüwburg. In 1360 they had to give the castle to Heinz and Martin Buwix as collateral for a loan, but by 1385 they were back in possession of the castle. In 1396 Frik Tumb quarreled with Ulrich Brun von Rhäzüns, which led to a feud between the two families and Neuburg Castle being besieged. In 1400 Johann von Neuburg became a vassal to the Bishop of Chur to protect his claim to the castle.
About 1450 it came under the control of Rudolf von Rappenstein or von Mötteli. In 1496 it was sold to the Bishop of Chur, who appointed a bailiff to administer the estates. In the following years, the castle was expanded, but during the 16th century it was abandoned and fell into ruin. Then, in 1577 the municipality bought the castle and associated barony. In the 16th Century, the site was abandoned and began to collapse.
The castle site includes the still visible rectangular keep, which is one of the largest in Raetia. The keep was four stories tall and was about 12 by 29 meters in size. The original high entrance was located on the west, about 2 m above ground level. The tower was divided into three parts by large interior walls. North and west of the keep, the foundations and portions of the curtain wall and gatehouse are still visible. In the northern courtyard, there is a large round cistern. The castle was repeatedly expanded. The original structure included arcades, detached kitchens and sinks.
The walls were about 1.5 m thick at the base, though they thinned out as they rose. On the mountain side of the castle site, a 2 m high gate led to the middle section of the castle.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.